By Udbhav Bhargava
The Jiribam-Imphal railway line connects the Imphal, Manipur’s capital city, to the rest of India via the Indian Railway network. The ambitious project for the railway line, which was declared a national project, was taken up in 2008. The project has a Rs 13,809 crore budget and the line is scheduled to finish by March 2022.
The railway line from Jiribam-Imphal will have 149 bridges and 52 tunnels along the path that will have to pass through steep hills. The line will also boast the tallest railway girder bridge on Indian Railways (bridge number 164) with a pier height of 141 metres, nearly twice as high as Qutab Minar.
North east state capitals Railway connectivity
Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura’s capitals have already been connected by a wide network of gauge rail. Work has been taken on new broad gauge lines to link the other state capitals – 1. Shillong (Meghalaya) 2. Manipur (Imphal) 3. Kohima (Nagaland) 4. Mizoram (Aizawl)
An Important Bridge completed
The girders for Bridge number 44, part of the upcoming railway line Jiribam-Imphal, were launched over the Makru River in Tamenglong District, Manipur. The newly launched bridge is Indian Railways’ first ever 100-metre-high pier bridge. The pier bridge, 100 meters long, is the size of a 33 story building. The bridge spans 555 metres. Bridge 164 – The tallest girder rail bridge Over River Ijai Near Noney town, Manipur 141m height Trains can pass over it at 120kmph speed
Difficulties in construction work
Many militant organizations are active in the region, so safety and security was a major issue for the construction workers. Thus, Territorial Army-119 Unit battalion was deployed. Construction sites are extremely remote, access is very difficult for both man and machine. The heavy girders were transported by custom made trucks. Torrential rains, extreme weather, steep hills and forests have been major concerns to be considered.